How to Pack the Best of Summer Into One Weekend

Summer vacation — is that even a thing anymore? While you were busy adulting, summer came and now it's almost gone. But don't panic if you didn't get a chance to take the grand vacation you were planning on, because there's still time to carve out a break before fall officially arrives. Pick one weekend to turn your home into a hotel, and spend that time relaxing by a pool, hanging in your hammock and chowing down on warm-weather eats. Long days and warm nights may be numbered, but these tips will help you feel relaxed and rejuvenated with the ones you have left.

(Image: Beth Huntington | Jeran McConnel | Julia Fain)

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Jump Start Your Day With a Tasty Iced Coffee

It's still way too hot outside to thoroughly enjoy your regular steaming cup of joe. Switch to a vanilla iced coffee so that you still get the usual jolt of caffeine without feeling overheated first thing in the morning. Add a dash of vanilla syrup, creamer, a handful of ice cubes and sip away.

(Image: Jennifer Farley)

Cool Off With a Chic Boho Towel

It doesn't matter if you're hanging by a community pool, lounging in your backyard's grass or building sandcastles at the beach, you're going to need a towel. Don't just settle for any old tattered textile in your linen closet, though. This tie-dyed fringed beauty will not only keep you dry, it'll look great paired with your favorite bikini in your next Instagram story.

(Image: Jeran McConnel)

Cover Up With an Easy, Breezy Caftan

Summer fashion is about looking effortlessly chic, and this caftan is all that and more. Grab two yards of fabric in a festive print and get ready to make your new favorite cover-up. Even if you're not a seasoned seamstress, you can handle this project — it's comprised of easy, straight stitches.

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Enjoy a Fresh Ceviche Appetizer Before Lunch

Step away from your oven. When temperatures are high, the last thing you want to do is make your place feel even hotter. This no-cook recipe for fresh shrimp ceviche is full of tangy citrus, tomatoes, jalapeños, onions and cilantro. Serve with a heaping bowl of tortilla chips and get ready to eat the whole thing.

(Image: Jackie Dodd)

Plan Ahead With a Double Batch of Lemon Artichoke Pesto

When you're trying to pack as much of a summer vacation as you can into a single weekend, time is precious. Make a double batch of this artichoke and lemon pesto, and you'll be able to add it to pasta or chicken for dinner. You could even munch on it with crackers for a snack.

(Image: April Anderson)

Make Yourself a Juicy Burger Without Touching the Grill

If you're craving a juicy burger for lunch but don't want to fire up the grill solo, cook your patty in a cast iron skillet instead. With a hot pan and a little oil, you can get the same crisp edges and charred flavor of a hot rack without the extra effort. From black bean veggie burgers to thick bison burgers, this method is a winner for cooking up small batches in a flash.

(Image: Julia Mueller)

Relax With a Mid-Day Siesta In Your Hammock

When your belly's all full and your cravings are satisfied, you'll probably be ready for a little nap. A few pieces of basic pressure-treated wood is all that's standing between you and the ultimate mid-day snooze spot. Coming in at a mere fraction of what a hammock stand from the store will cost you, this free-standing wood version is as attractive as it is affordable. Relaxation to commence in 3...2...1...

(Image: Julia Fain)

Stay Hydrated With a Pitcher of Sun Tea

Sun tea is exactly what it sounds like: tea made in the sun. It's basically the set-it-and-forget-it recipe of the beverage world. Just combine your choice of tea bags, fresh herbs, lemon slices and sugar in a large clear glass jar and fill with water. Find the sunniest spot you can, and leave your jar there to brew for the next 1 to 3 hours. When it's ready, pour yourself a tall glass.

(Image: Tim and Mary Vidra)

Seafood Paella — It's What's For Dinner

Filled with fresh shrimp, mussels, chicken thighs and arborio rice, this seafood paella is just the kind of meal you need to round out a relaxation-filled day. While it might be a little more extravagant than what you'd usually make for dinner, that's what's so great about it. Go ahead and spend a bit of extra time on your meal, and throughly enjoy every bite of your hard work.

(Image: Julia Mueller)

There's Always Room for Dessert

Your favorite flavor of ice cream sandwiched between two crisp chocolate chip wafers makes for a dessert so delicious you'll look for any excuse to make a few. Whether you go with store-bought or homemade, spread the softened ice cream on a baking sheet and refreeze. Then, use your biscuit cutter to make the perfect round center for your sandwich. Yum.

(Image: Abbey Rodriguez)
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